Nanocarriers formulated with the US Food and Drug Administration-approved biocompatible and biodegradable polymer poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA) are being widely explored for the controlled delivery of therapeutic drugs, proteins, peptides, oligonucleotides, and genes. Surface functionalization of PLGA nanoparticles has paved the way to a variety of engineered PLGA-based nanocarriers, which, depending on reticular requirements, can demonstrate a wide variety of combined properties and functions such as prolonged residence time in blood circulation, enhanced oral bioavailability, site-specific drug delivery, and tailored release characteristics. The present review highlights the recent leaps in PLGA-based nanotechnology with a particular focus on cancer therapeutics. Starting with a brief introduction to cancer nanotechnology, we then discuss developmental aspects and the in vitro and in vivo efficacy of PLGA-based nanocarriers in terms of targeted drug or gene delivery. The main objective of this review is to convey information about the state of art and to critically address the limitations and the need for further progress and clinical developments in this emerging technology.